Keep it Clean! 3 Reasons You’ll Love Having a Weekly Cleaning Service

Hands up who’s guilty of any of the cardinal sins of student living – letting the dishes mount up at the side of the sink, forgetting to take the trash out or never getting round to cleaning the bathroom. If any of this sounds familiar then you’re far from alone, and being house proud is not generally an attribute which gets associated with students. Continue reading

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Safe and Sound this Holiday Season


With your first term of the year rounding up nicely, and parties being planned left right and centre, getting caught up in the excitement can mean forgetting yourself and, sometimes, your own safety.

In this icy weather there are a couple of key things to remember to help keep you safe in town.


Travel in Packs

I f you’re travelling away from the town centre, or if you’re simply attending one of the many pubs and clubs Lancaster and Leicester have to offer, be sure to travel in pairs or in a group. There’s safety in numbers, as they say!

Stick to the main roads, especially if you’re not used to the town, and make sure your friends and housemates know where you’re going. Be sure to keep your wallets and purses close to you at all times. Zip up pockets are fantastic, though if you happen to be pocket-less, ensure your bag is strapped across your body for added security!


nightout iStock_000044076882_Medium


 Fancy a Seasonal Drink… or Three?

It goes without saying that when partying you’ll undoubtedly consume your fair share of merry drinks. Though the season may bring out a fantastic concoction of Christmas cheer, you should make sure to keep an eye on your drinks when being made and keep them by your side at all times. For bottles, there are nifty plastic stoppers your University can give you which prevent anything unpleasant falling into your drink!


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Walk This Way

You may not realise it, but the majority of injuries sustained on a night out are simply wardrobe related. Yes that’s right, high heels are fantastic but please, wear them with some consideration to your feet! Winter is coming and icy pavements won’t be far behind. On a cold, wet night out, take care what you wear. If you’re worried  your outfit won’t make the right impression without heels, take a pair of roll up flats in your bag; you can always change through the night and nobody will mind.


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We like to know that all of our student residents are safe and sound this holiday season, whether it’s a sparkling fireworks night or a frosty Christmas course do. When you head back to your student flats in Leicester and Lancaster in the wee hours of the morning, you can relax knowing you’re protected by our 24 hour security and that our onsite maintenance and customer service teams are on hand to help you out, no matter what.

If you’d like to find out how we can make your university experience that little bit less stressful, don’t hesitate to contact us today on our Leicester number, 0116 251 7270, or our Lancaster number,  01524 541251 follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest CityBlock news!


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Make-Up Advice: Dare To Scare With Our Halloween Competition!

If you’re omnipresent across social media, you’ll be aware that City Block are offering a scarily good prize for the best dressed this Halloween! Not content to offer you a superb haunt in the form of our student flats in Lancaster and Leicester, we’re going to give a £50 Amazon voucher to the scariest Halloween costume; all you have to do is post it to our Facebook or Twitter!

Now, to open up the competition we thought we’d provide you handsome lot with some spooky make-up tips. So, dust off the cobwebs from your face-paint and bring your A-game as we offer you some spoooooky tutorials.

The Unzipped Face

Whilst the unzipped face may look fairly ambitious, it is actually somewhat deceiving. We’d love to see an army of the unzipped roaming around Lancaster and Leicester. Imagine walking into a toilet and seeing that! Give this tutorial a go to give yourself a truly terrifying look this Halloween, although we advise you to be careful when tucking into your kebab afterwards, the cheeks are a bit chewy.


This horrendous latex-laden look may take a rather lengthy period of time to construct, but it will certainly be worth it! Halloween’s the time of year where we all get to hauntingly flaunt our inner creepiness, so if you have the time to undertake this sinister mask, then we can only implore you to give it a go!

White Nun

Any American Horror Story fans will recognise this creepy lil lady from the Asylum series. A simple look with a massive impact, the White Nun is sure to stand out among all the dark costumes synonymous with Halloween. If you want to get noticed in a dark club, this is certainly the look to go for…

So, there we have it. We’ve given you some cool ideas to get your creative juices – and fake blood – flowing, so don’t waste any time piecing together your costumes! Your time to create the ultimate spookstravaganza is running out, and you could be winning yourself a £50 voucher at the end of it; I know… we spoil ya’.

Don’t forget to send across your spooky images across to our Facebook and Twitter pages, and if you need any more information, or would like to discuss our accommodation services, then you can give our ghoulish team a ring. You can contact us on 01524 541251 (Lancaster) or 0116 2517270 (Leicester), where we are simply dying to hear from you.

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Make 9am Your Best Friend: 5 Tips For Morning Motivation

We know you love your Lancaster uni accommodation so much, you don’t want to leave it in the morning – we don’t blame you.

Whilst we can see the logic here, your education disagrees. Although you might feel like burying your head under the pillow and blowing off your morning lectures, it’s definitely in your best interest to get up and go.

Young girl annoyed by the alarm clockIf you’re already skipping classes in favour of an extra hour in bed, or if you’re rushing out of the door every day in a panic – we can help. Many people are miserable in the morning, but if you follow our top tips for morning motivation, we can help you discover the ‘good’ in good morning!

Set Your Alarm Early

You should never set your alarm for the exact time that you need to be out of bed. This gives you no time to hit snooze, or sit in bed and read the news on your phone.

We suggest that you set your alarm for 5-15 minutes earlier than you have to, so that you have plenty of time to sit in bed and prepare yourself for getting up!

Move Your Alarm

Is your alarm next your bed? If so, you’re more likely to turn it off and go back to sleep. By moving your alarm to the other side of the room, you actually have to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you are out of bed – you’re likely to stay up.

How about investing in a more modern type of alarm? Some have puzzles that you need to solve before turning off – this definitely makes sure that you’re awake.

Eat Breakfast

A nutritious breakfast can give you motivation in the morning and set you up for the next few hours. A healthy breakfast will kick start your metabolism – so don’t go skipping.

Eating breakfast before university will actually wake you up and make you perform better in your studies. It also improves your concentration.

Peanut butter sandwiches with berries and cheese

Drink Water

We know everyone automatically thinks about coffee when wanting energy in the morning but water can actually help you more! Although coffee will perk you up, it won’t last.

Instead you should replace some of the water that we lose naturally. Lack of water can cause you to have little energy and give you headaches – so reach for the water and boost your metabolism.

Listen to Music

People believe that music boosts productivity. Whilst it isn’t proven, we agree that music can make you feel more awake when listened to in the morning. Don’t get ready in silence – stick on your favourite artist and brighten up your mood!

We hope that our tips help you to feel a little more like a morning person!

Woman sleeping

If you would like to speak to a member of the team about your current Lancaster or Leicester accommodation, or you would like to discuss joining us next year, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

You can give us a call on 01524 541251 (Lancaster) or on 0116 2517270 (Leicester), and we will be happy to help.

Alternatively, you can reach us on Facebook or Twitter.


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How To Deal With The Uni Blues


University can be great fun. You’ve started a brand new chapter of your life and the world is your oyster, all you have to do is grab that metaphorical bull by the horns and tackle it. While you’re loving that first week of university, partying by night and attempting to attend lectures by day, you don’t give yourself time to think. Once the initial excitement has subsided, however, you may find you begin to feel the press of the Uni Blues.

This year a study came out showing an increase in student stress levels. The BBC News article states that a report from the Higher Education Funding Council for England has reported an increase in students searching for counselling over the past couple of years.


Housewife worried

The University of Reading, for instance, shows mental health has increased by 20% every year. Students are not only looking for help and advice on homesickness, relationships and loneliness, they’re also showing more serious mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders.

Providing you with top quality student housing in Lancaster and Leicester, we’ve seen our fair share of struggling students. Though we do our best to ease your financial stress with our Privilege Card, we thought we’d pass on some advice to help you cope with your Uni Blues.


Students at the park


Spend Time With Friends and Socialise

You won’t be the only one feeling the tug of loneliness or stress. The worst thing you can do is board yourself up in your room and wait it out. Not only will you grow sick of staring at the same four walls, you’ll feel worse than you did before. Going days without seeing or speaking to people is a huge knock on the soul.

Pick yourself up and step out into your hallway, knock on a few doors, talk to your friends and socialise with them. Go to the cinema or the pub, visit an event and have some fun. A little TLC with your university friends may be all you need to feel like yourself again.


Group Of Young Friends Shopping In Mall Together


Put Time Aside to Try Something New

Moving to university gives you the chance to try things you may never have tried before. First Aid courses, Paragliding and trips out to foreign countries are all at your fingertips so take the chance to experiment. During your Freshers week you’ll find that your university will have stalls showing off their amazing societies and clubs. Not only is joining one (or several) of these great fun, but it’s the perfect way to meet new people and make lots of friends!

You may find that a new love in your life, or a hobby you fall head over heels for, can help to reduce your stress.


woman staying on sailboat


Talk to Somebody

Above all else, talk to somebody. Talk to your friends, your housemates, your family or a counsellor. Talk until your mouth feels dry and you’ve no more words. Suffering in silence, especially if you’re feeling more than a little homesick, won’t help you. If nobody knows why you’re so quiet, if they don’t understand why you want to lock yourself in your room, then they won’t be able to help you.


Cheering up


The Uni Blues isn’t something to take lightly. A lot of the time stress levels in students come down to financial struggles and fears of future job prospects. There are plenty of things in place to help you deal socially and financially at university, you just need to say something. Here at City Block we understand student struggles, if you’d like to know how we can help you, contact us today on 01524 541251 or follow us on Facebook or Twitter for updates.


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Just Started University? How Not To Spend All Your Money In The First Month

Whether you’ve just started university or you’re in your final year, the temptation to spend all your money will be everywhere you turn. Whilst it might seem like a good idea to blow all your money in the first few weeks, it’s something that you will later regret when you realise you have months left until your next instalment.  Soon you’ll find yourself missing out on fun things because you don’t even have a pound to your name!

To avoid this happening, we have put together a few tips to help you manage your finance and avoid spending it all before October is even over.

Poor student

Don’t Join Every Club & Society

Whilst it might be tempting to sign up to every club or society that sounds even a little interesting to you, it’s important that you’re a lot more selective. Often, these clubs will come with join up fees and annual membership costs, which will add up as the year goes on.

You should take some time and work out which ones you’re actually interested in. Which ones will you attend each week? Do you have time for this and that? Don’t be pressured into saying yes straight away, you can leave it until the deadline.

Buy a Student Discount Card

Don’t be put off by the fact that a NUS card will cost you around £12 – you’ll save a lot more than this within the first month. A lot of students rely on their library cards as proof of student ID but this often isn’t accepted in a lot of places – especially online.

You should sign up to websites such as studentbeans and UNiDAYS for even more discount codes. You’ll save a lot on clothing, food and drink in certain places.

Oh, and don’t forget about our exclusive CityBlock Privilege Card which gives you loads of great local offers!

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Look For a Part Time Job

Working might not sound like fun but do you know what else isn’t fun? Having no money whilst your friends are off on nights out and attending events. You might feel rich when your first student loan hits your bank account but it won’t last long.

Look for a part time job that works around your university hours and doesn’t affect your studying. Most retail shops are good with students – offering them flexible hours and weekend shifts.

Go Cheap With Food Shopping

Don’t be tempted to just do your shopping at the nearest supermarket. You will be better searching for the cheaper supermarket or the one that offers the better deals. You can usually look this up online or ask around and see where other people have been shopping.

You should also aim to buy non-branded stuff as they often taste exactly the same but come at a much cheaper price. Try a few things and see if you can taste the difference.

Woman holding piggy bank

If you have any queries about our Leicester or Lancaster uni accommodation, or you would like to enquire about booking next year, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer stunning city centre accommodation which means that you’re never far from everything that is going on.

For more information, just give us a call on 01524 541251 (Lancaster) or on 0116 2517270 (Leicester) and a member of our team will be happy to help.

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Roald Dahl Appreciation – Happy 99th Birthday!

At CityBlock it’s that time of year where we begin to welcome all the new starters in their posh blazers, with their swanky new pencil cases and spit polished cheeks. Everywhere from our Lancaster to De Montfort University accommodation will be welcoming the sound of pen on paper and keyboard tapping as you begin your yearlong studying spate, but there’s a wee while yet, right?

So to ease you in to your first weeks we thought we would combine the celebration of a fantastic literary mind whilst simultaneously providing you with some recommended viewing… so, as the more social media-y amongst you may have noticed, yesterday was in fact Roald Dahl’s 99th birthday!

So, while the only way to truly honour the great man would be through reading one of his works, we thought after the long drive and time spent sorting your room out you’d probably want a film? Thought so! So grab yourself a snozzcumber and quit your whizpopping, and check out our list of some of the best Roald Dahl’s book-to-films ever made.

Witches (1990)

This 1990 classic sees the children hating witches take over a hotel as a witch convention comes to town. Discovering the identity of many of the hotel guests as witches, Luke – a 9 year old American boy on holiday with his grandmother – sets about a plan to free the hotel of their gruesome presence. This film is a fantastic display of the book’s and Dahl’s leaning towards the creepy and absurd.

Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory (1971)

Poor ol’ Charlie and his family haven’t had the best breaks in life, but they’re rich in love (n’awww). Watch as Charlie and his granddad have the trippiest day of their entire life; featuring such lessons as, don’t be greedy or you’ll end up in a chocolate river. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry… gosh, you may even learn a thing or two!

You Only Live Twice (1967)

We know! There’s a pub quiz answer for you. This James Bond classic’s screenplay was actually written by Dahl, and follows the ol’ womanising secret agent on a mission to check out the disappearance of Soviet and US spacecrafts in Japan. The perfect Sunday afternoon film, if there ever was one.

So there we have it! Some of Dahl’s greatest on screen translations. Treat yourself by getting comfy in your new accommodation and indulging in a Roald Dahl-binge; we also recommend you get round to digging out your copy of one of his literary masterpieces, we’re sure you have a couple. What better way to start your new digs experience than cranking out a Dahl-creation.

In your opening few weeks we want you to feel comfortable; it’s your new home after all! So don’t hesitate to give us a call if you need anything or have any issues, you can always contact us on 01524 541251 if you’re a Lancaster inhabitant or 0116 2517270 if you’re a Leicester resident – one our friendly team will be eagerly awaiting your call!

Go on then, get back to ya’ whizpopping:

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Fresher Fails: Our Top 4 Fresher’s Week Mistakes

It’s nearly time- fresher’s week is almost here and we know that you can’t wait to celebrate moving away to university in style.

Fresher’s week is notorious for being the best week of a student’s university life and we couldn’t agree more! There’s nothing like attending student-orientated events for getting to know your new flatmates and course buddies while having a blast at the same time.

As we provide some of the comfiest student flats in Leicester, you could say that we are graduates of fresher’s week mistakes. We’d recommend that you try to avoid making them, but don’t feel like you are the only one if some do happen- trust us, there will be thousands of students up and down the country making them too!

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Four Things No One Ever Told You about Going to University

So, the time is drawing ever nearer – the start of the university term is nearly upon us, and for all you freshers out there, it couldn’t be more exciting (and just a tiny bit terrifying!). Some of you will have probably started reading up about your new university and the city you’ll be spending the next 3+ years in, but there are certain things that your teachers, tutors, parents and even Google won’t have told you…

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Your Back to Uni Checklist!


It’s happened and aren’t you excited?

You’ve safely secured your place as a full or part time student at the university of your dreams! Congratulations! Now you’re frantically running from store to store buying all the essential bits and bobs you never thought you’d actually need to buy. Soap? Who needs that? What’s washing detergent and you need how many knives and forks? Continue reading

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